|My latest "Sombra" photo. I took the first first against a coffee backdrop in 2011, |
when comparisons were made to the famous
"Shadow" statue of Sandino in Managua.
When Pam and I -- and our doglet Perry -- stepped into the scene above, I exclaimed "The Moors!" as I was reminded of the upland grasslands of Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of the Baskervilles (though our min-pin is neither a hound nor very Baskervillian). On further discussion, we found that we each had different definition of "moor," all of which were substantiated by quick Google searches and -- more importantly -- by the Oxford English Dictionary. We learned that it can mean a highland open space, especially if covered with heather, a swamp, or any uncultivated land. We also learned that "moor" in the ecological sense has an etymology that is completely separate from the word "Moor" relating to people of North Africa.
In some contexts, "moor" refers specifically to areas reserved for shooting (that is, hunting), which is the case on this property we were walking in Barnstable. In Massachusetts, hunting is allowed on public lands unless specifically prohibited, subject to certain set-backs in distance from roads and buildings. As we consider the development of trails through public lands in Bridgewater, this is an important subject to understand, as it is in any place experience rapid suburban sprawl. Newcomers are sometimes surprised to see hunters close to their homes, and long-timers are sometimes surprised to find that the places where they hunted in their youth are now off-limits. In this context, the signage used above can be a vital part of managing public trails. The photo includes another essential element of trail management, which is to identify the right level of vehicular access, and to find ways to achieve it that meet the various management objectives at a site.
I named the photo above "buffer" because the value of the property is further enhanced by a thick growth of vegetation on a steep slope, separating it both visually and physically from the public way.
Aside from good exercise, a major reason to spend time in the out-of-doors is to appreciate its aesthetic beauty, and I was fortunate that Pam noticed the above "still life" along the trail's edge. It is good always to have an eye open for such encounters.
I look forward to hiking this property again, when I'm prepared for a longer exploration of the "Amazon Trail" just to the south of the area we explored. I am intrigued by its name, since it was the Amazon that got me into geography in the first place!
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Back to that Audubon property: we got no farther than the train tracks, which of course we know not to walk along, tempting though it be. The night before our walk, we noticed the Cape Cod Dinner Train, which we had enjoyed riding last year. This section of track is near the one low overpass along Route 6A, a quaint -- if treacherous -- crossing that I have admired since my first visit to the Cape many years ago.
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